Phytochrome Structure Revealed: A Molecular Switch For Tricking What Plants See

by on August 23, 2014
The dream of crop producers is precise manipulation of the various aspects of plant life, for the important goal of increasing yields and access to affordable food.  Recent research into plant phytochrome promises advances toward that dream. Plant biologist Professor Richard Vierstra at the University of Madison Wisconsin and his team have finally determined the […]

Bacteria And Fungus Build Stalactites And Stalagmites Layer By Layer

by on August 23, 2014
New research from Denmark, Sweden and Spain has revealed that simple, unassuming microorganisms influence the creation of stalagmites and stalactites, also known as dripstones, in caves.  This new discovery exemplifies the influence of living organisms on the geology of Earth. Dripstones belong to the class of “speleotherms”, or any secondary cave formation generated in processes […]


Silicon-Carbon Chains: A Compelling Candidate Responsible For Mysterious Diffuse Interstellar Bands

by on August 22, 2014
Recently, researchers Dr. Michael McCarthy, Dr. Neil Reilly and their team from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have proposed the intriguing possibility that the mysterious Diffuse Interstellar Bands, the light absorption pattern of the diffuse matter between stars known as the interstellar medium, has large contributions from a silicon-terminated hydrocarbon chain molecule.  To date, the composition […]

Parasitic Plant Strangleweed Injects Host With Thousands Of Its Own Expressed Genes

by on August 22, 2014
Virginia Tech professor and Fralin Life Institute affiliate Jim Westwood has made a discovery about plant-to-plant communication: enormous amounts of genetic messages in the form of mRNA transcripts are transmitted from the parasitic plant Cuscuta (known more commonly as dodder and strangleweed) to its hosts. Using Illumina next generation sequencing technologies to sequence the tissues […]


The Future Of Personal Renewable Energy: Open Source, Portable, 3D-Printed Wind Turbines

by on August 21, 2014
If someone were to mention “wind energy” to you, you are likely to immediately think on a rather large scale building-sized structures set on acres of land. But now there is a new idea: an open source 3D printed wind turbine small enough to carry around. Omni3D, a Poland manufacturer of 3D printers, is focusing […]

Astronomers Detect Three Stars Torn Apart By Massive Tidal Forces Of Galactic Center Black Hole

by on August 21, 2014
Researchers Ildar Khabibullin and Sergei Sazonov from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences have reported the detection of three separate events in which stars near galactic centers were torn apart and consumed by black holes. Because observing even one such event is rare, […]


Chromatophagy, A New Cancer Therapy: Starve The Diseased Cell Until It Eats Its Own DNA

by on August 21, 2014
Scientists based in the U.S. at the University of California Davis, and in Taiwan at Taipei Medical University as well as the National Health Research Institutes have simultaneously discovered a new process of “chromatophagy” cellular suicide and shed light on the way a “starvation” drug deprives cancer cells of arginine, a necessary amino acid. Cells […]

British Journal Of Obstetrics Reports China Caesarean Rates Near 50% Among Highest In World

by on August 20, 2014
A study and commentary titled “China’s 50% caesarean delivery rate: is it too high?” appearing today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG) notes that China has one of the highest rates of caesarean delivery in the world.  In the year 2010, there were 16 million births and about half were delivered via […]


Fast, Automated Optics System Confirms Extrasolar Planet Every 3 Minutes

by on August 20, 2014
A team led by principal investigator Christoph Baranec from University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy and project scientist Nicholas Law from UNC at Chapel Hill runs an extremely successful fully automated survey of extrasolar planetary candidate targets identified by the Kepler space telescope, using a ground-based adaptive optics 60-inch telescope at Palomar. In just 36 […]
River crayfish held in hands

Crayfish Neurogenesis: Brain Cells Do Not Self-Renew And Must Come From Circulating Blood Cells

by on August 20, 2014
Scientists led by Professor Barbara Beltz from Wellesley College in Massachusetts and Dr. Irene Söderhäll from Uppsala University in Stockholm, have discovered an example where adult neurons are generated from stem cells in other tissue types, specifically that of circulating blood cells produced by the immune system. The experiments were performed on a crayfish model […]